BWV 75 Die Elenden sollen essen

First Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown, possibly Christian Weiss.

1. Ps. 22:27; 7. Samuel Rodigast, verse 5 of "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan," 1674 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #467); 14. Samuel Rodigast, last verse of "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan."

30 May 1723, Leipzig.

BG 18; NBA I/15.



Part One

1. Chorus [Dictum] (S, A, T, B)

The hungering shall be nourished till they be sated, and they who desire the Lord shall tell his praises. And your heart shall evermore flourish.

2. Recit. (B)

What use is purple's majesty
When it is gone?
What use the greatest store of wealth
Since all things in our vision
Must disappear?
What use the stirring of vain yearnings,
Since this our flesh itself must perish?
Alas, how swiftly doth it happen
That riches, pleasure, pomp,
The soul to hell condemn!(1)

3. Aria (T)

My Jesus shall be all I own!(2)

    My purple is his precious blood,
    Himself my most exalted wealth,
    And this his Spirit's fire of love
    My most delicious wine of joy.

4. Recit. (T)

God humbleth and exalteth
Both now and for all time.
Who in the world would heaven seek
Shall here be cursed.(3)
However, who here hell's pow'r overcometh
Shall there(4) find joy.

5. Aria (S)

I take up my sadness with gladness to me.

    Who Lazarus' torments
    With patience endureth
    Be taken by angels above.

6. Recit. (S)

A conscience clear hath God provided
So that a Christian can
In simple things find great delight and pleasure.
Yea, though he lead through long distress
To death,
Yet is it in the end done right and well.

7. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

What God doth, that is rightly done;
Must I the cup soon savor,
So bitter after my mad plight,
I shall yet feel no terror,
For at the last
I will find joy,
My bosom's sweetest comfort,
And yield will ev`ry sorrow.

Part Two

8. Sinfonia

9. Recit. (A)

Just one thing grieves
A Christian in the spirit:
When he upon his soul's own want doth think.
Though he trust God's great kindness,
Which all things new doth make,
Yet doth he lack the strength,
For life above in heaven,
His increase and his fruits to offer.

10. Aria (A)

Jesus makes my spirit rich.
If I can receive his Spirit,
I will nothing further long for;
For my life doth grow thereby.
Jesus makes my spirit rich.

11. Recit. (B)

Who bides in Christ alone
And self-denial keeps,
That he in God's affection
His faith may practise,
Hath, when all earthly things have vanished,
Himself and God discovered.

12. Aria (B)

My heart believes and loves.(5)

    For Jesus' flames of sweetness,
    From which mine own have risen,
    Engulf me altogether,
    Because he loveth me.

13. Recit. (T)

O poorness which no wealth can match!
When from my bosom
Shall all the world withdraw
And Jesus all alone shall rule,
Thus is a Christian led to God!
Grant, God, that we this hope not squander!

14. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

What God doth, that is rightly done,
To that will I be cleaving.
Though out upon the cruel road
Need, death and suff'ring drive me;
E'en so shall God,
All fatherhood,
In his dear arms enfold me;
So I yield him all power.


1. It is curious that there are several stylistic and thematic features of this cantata which are characteristic of Salomo Franck. Among them is this noun series with asyndeton. The central theme, which Dürr calls the "Gegensatz Armut--Reichtum," is also Franckian.

2. This translation of Augustine's mihi omnia Jesus was a life-motto of Salomo Franck. Cf. also BWV 132/5:

    Christus gab zum neuen Kleide
    Roten Purpur, weiße Seide,
    Diese sind der Christen Staat.

3. Cf. non est mortale quod opto, the other life-motto of Salomo Franck, and Z. P. Ambrose in BACH (1982), pp. 20-22.

4. I.e., in heaven.

5. For the ameliorative metamorphosis with paronomasia, a favorite technique of Franck, see BWV 21/10 and BWV 146/footnote 2.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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